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 A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics)

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  • Total Posts: 2363
  • Joined: 1/23/2005
  • Location: New York City, NY
A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 12:06 PM (permalink)

My girlfriend and I made our way up to Syracuse on Easter weekend to spend some time with my family and for my niece's 4th birthday. On the train I texted my sister who was picking us up that I had hoped we could grab a bite to eat for lunch at Columbus Bakery now that they have added a deli. She recommended another place that we might like even more. Hey, I'm always up for something new! Just a few blocks from the train station and Alliance Bank Park is the Second North Deli.  

Part of the menu.

The Syracuse Chiefs' home is just around the corner.  We arrived in Syracuse on Opening Day at the park, but unfortunately didn't have time to make the game.

My sister had heartily recommended the Fresh London Broil sandwich.  

Dayna had a turkey on wheat.  The bread looks a bit squished but that didn't affect the quality.  A substantial sandwich that was big on flavor.  Not sure what kind of meats they use.

I grabbed a chocolate milk to wash down my meal.

Sis and I both had the London Broil sandwiches.  This is a pretty big sandwich.  One half is fit for a meal, but a foot long for $5.95?  Good deal!  I topped mine with sauteed onions and mushrooms.  It comes sided with a cup of hot aus jus.  You can see the steam coming off of it.  This was a great sandwich!  Tender and piled high, they really know what they are doing with that cut of beef.  The bread was crispy on the outside of soft inside.  The onions and mushrooms complemented it perfectly and the jus put it over the top for me.  Good call, sis!  

The next day, Dayna and I made our way around town to run some errands and we stopped at Wegmans supermarket where we picked up lunch.  I love these little pretzel sandwiches.

Of course, I had to pick up some doughnuts from the bakery at Wegmans.  What we have here is a Maple Frosted yeast, Cinnamon-Sugar cake and a Headlight (a chocolate frosted yeast with cream on top).  Both of the yeasts were ok, but a bit too heavy for my taste.  The cake doughnut was really good.  Not the best I have ever had, but I'd go back for more.  

I realize this may not be the most visually appealing photo.  The ham salad from Wegmans deli.  I absolutely love it and eat it just about every trip up to Syracuse. 
My ham salad sandwich on a fresh bakery roll with swiss.  I love the saltiness of the ham combined with the sweetness of the pickle bits (I think they use bread & butter pickles in it) and creaminess of the mayo.  

I just couldn't resist when I saw this box of cereal in the store.  Can you name all of the Syracuse Athletics figures on this box?  I think there are some repeats on it. 

The day before Easter, we had a Dinosaur Bar-B-Que style birthday party for my niece.  A bit of fruit salad.

My sister's wicked awesome good potato salad!

Honey Hush Cornbread


My sister's mother-in-law made this pasta salad with shells and tuna.  I loved it and it really reminded me of a version my grandma would make for family picnics.  

Slow cooker pulled pork with barbeque sauce.  Once again, the butcher at Wegmans took good care of us.  I found a couple of pork butts and had him trim them and cut them down to fit in the slow cooker.  Started them at 5am and by 3pm they were ready to pull.  

My plate of goodness.  Sis also made some killer barbeque beans with some nice chunks of Gianelli sausage in it! 

Maddie's birthday cake.  My sister picked it up from a local bakery and it was excellent.

My "Frankensteinian" creation of cake topped with chocolate ice cream and "Birthday Cake" flavored ice cream that actually has frosting in it.  Yeah, that right.  Frosting IN the ice cream!

Another trip to Wegmans for groceries to take back to NYC resulted in lunch at the in-store cafe.  I spied these Zapp's chips and recalled reading about them as  New Orleans favorite, so I picked up a bag.  

And my obligatory beef-on-weck.  They do such a good job with it here.  It may not look as rosy as the one I had at Christmas, but it was just as good and I had to get the top roll dipped, of course.  They still have the prepackaged horseradish sauce that I remembered not being very strong.  I did make a helpful discovery though.  If I put it on the sandwich or roll, it melts into it somewhat, mitigating its strength.  But if I put some on each bite as I eat it, WOW, powerful, sinus-clearing stuff!

These were some super crunchy chips, but they weren't terribly hot.

I may have to try these ones next time.  

Interesting.  Has anyone tried the crawfish flavor?

On out last day there, I planned to hit a few Roadfood stops solo.  While Dayna was still sleeping, I made my way to the Hanover Square section of Syracuse to the  Galloway's Miss Syracuse Diner.  The breakfast options look pretty good.   

When I spied this on the menu though, I had to try it.  This is the 6th or 7th place I've found in Syracuse that serves it.  I think of Hoppel Poppel or Hobo Skillets whenever i see this.  

I love that they have daily specials.

I'd come back for that Wednesday AND the Thursday special.  I wonder if the beans are Grandma Browns?

Nothing like a Hofmann.

Pretty basic inside.  I came on a quiet weekday morning around 10 am.  I ended up having a really good conversation about food with the guy in this shot.  I got a few laughs from him as I took pictures of my food.  

The Fretta.  I had mine with cheddar cheese added.  This is one seriously huge plate of food!  I did like it, but wasn't in love with it.  I can't put my finger on it, but it didn't come together like the one I had at the Market Diner last year.  I was good for about 1/2 of this and then I wrapped it to go.  Still more stops to make.  

My Italian Toast.  I'm so happy to find that most breakfast spots in Central NY offer this.  Thick and crunchy, it is a perfect complement to any breakfast plate (especially any that have greens on it!).  

Outside the diner

More signage

Yet even more signage

The prospect of coming back for this makes my belly smile.

After breakfast, I heard buffetbuster and CajunKing calling me telepathically, saying that I must find pie or my journey would not be complete!  I made my way to Mother's in Liverpool as I had seen a sign in the window on my last trip here, proclaiming PIES!  The sign was still there when I arrived around 11:15 am, but alas, they were not open.  A quick backup became the Gardenview Diner.  I popped in for a slice of Coconut Cream Pie.  I asked if the were made in-house and the woman at the counter said "Well, they bake them here".  A bit cagey, but, good pie, although it seemed like it could have been pre-fab based on the cream topping.  I think it's worth a return visit to try others.    

The sign outside

This building looks more like something I'd see in Miami instead of Central NY.

Time for lunch.  Scorereader might like this one.  I brought Dayna to Jake Hafner's Restaurant and Tavern for the burgers.  

Gusto Girls, eh?  Interesting...

A bit of the backstory.  I hope some of this is readable.

I love the old wood decor in this place.  

Dayna had this burger from the specials menu.  I neglected to write down the name, but it is on dark rye with horseradish cheddar, tomatoes and onions.  She got it medium rare and offered me some, but it looked a bit too rare for my liking, so I declined.  She liked it but said that the horseradish flavor didn't really come through in the cheese.  

We split her side of sweet potato fries with maple syrup for dipping.  My friend Doug put me on to these when we ate here a while back.  They really reminded of the ones that cecif and wanderingjew had at the Red Arrow Diner in manchester, NH.  These were slightly crispy outside and soft inside.  The maple syrup was of the Log Cabin/Mrs. Butterworth's variety.  I would have liked to try them with real maple syrup, but the combo in front of us was tasty nonetheless.

A close-up of Dayna's burger.

I had the Blacksmith Burger which is a 1/2 pound of Black Angus beef grilled, topped with bacon, melted Jack and Cheddar cheeses. Sided with potato chips.   

I really, really love the burgers here!  I had the Cajun Burger last time and this one was even better.  I ordered it medium and it came just as I like it, with just a hint of pink.  They are substantial, thick and the juice squirted out when it bit into it.  There was a nice crust and a real beefy flavor to it.  The roll was sturdy on the outside and soft inside,  I wish I had asked what kind of roll it was and where they got them from.  The burgers here are definitely ones I would go out of my way for.  Ellen4641, I think you'd like these burgers!  Sorry this picture isn't clearer.  

Some more of the wood and stone interior.  I think of Hafe's as part restaurant, part tavern, part sports bar.  They have high end cocktails, happy hour, beef on weck and a sandwich called the Short Fat Guys Sandwich that has pastrami, corned beef, bermuda onion, pepperoncinis, three cheeses and Russian dressing on grilled dark rye.  Just a really great place to meet up with friends for a few cold beers and great burgers while watching the game.  Now if they would just get Red Sox games on the TVs, this place would be perfect!!

Our server, Dasha, was great.  I asked her what pies were made in-house (that's right, a 2 slice day folks!) and she said that the Toll House pie, brownies for the sundae and I believe the carrot cake are all made in-house.  She said that they get the Lemon Meringue Pie from Geddes Bakery.  A local bakery is suppying your pie?  I'm sold!   This was one seriously awesome slice of pie!  Real puckery lemon flavor, slightly browned meringue, and a nice crumbly yet slightly flaky crust.  The custard sauce on the plate was unnecessary and more for presentation than anything else.  This has got me jonesing to check out the bakery on my next visit!  

A shot of Jake Hafner hoisting one up with the crowd.  He definitely created a wonderful legacy that I'm glad I've had the opportunity to taste on more than one occasion.  

That's it for this trip!  Hope you enjoyed it.

"Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!"-billyboy

The 411

1.)  Second North Deli
       625 Wolf Street
       Syracuse, NY 13208
       Ph# 315-472-7429
       No website

2.)  Galloway's Miss Syracuse Diner
       258 East Water Street
       Syracuse, NY 13202
       Ph# 315-423-2978
       No website

3.)  Gardenview Diner
       650 Old Liverpool Road
       Liverpool, NY 13088
       Ph# 315-451-5525
       No website

4.)  Jake Hafner's Restaurant & Tavern
       5224 West Taft Road
       North Syracuse, NY 13212
       Ph# 315-458-5108

<message edited by billyboy on Sun, 04/26/09 2:16 PM>

    • Total Posts: 1790
    • Joined: 6/4/2006
    • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
    Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 12:12 PM (permalink)
    Billyboy, only you or Buffetbuster could make me want to eat after I've already had a full meal! Great post. The pictures are beautiful!
      sk bob

      • Total Posts: 1801
      • Joined: 12/29/2005
      • Location: South Daytona, FL
      Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 12:12 PM (permalink)
      nice pictures Billyboy, but I think the descriptions got lost
        carolina bob

        • Total Posts: 3420
        • Joined: 1/1/2005
        • Location: Chicagoland
        Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 12:36 PM (permalink)
        Billyboy, those are some great photos. Man, are they making me hungry! Especially the burgers and the beef on weck ( I've never had a b-o-w, but I'm hoping to get to Buffalo before the year's up. ) Were there any captions? All I see is info about font-size.

          • Total Posts: 2363
          • Joined: 1/23/2005
          • Location: New York City, NY
          Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 12:42 PM (permalink)
          Sorry folks, I hit "post" when I meant to hit "preview" instead.  Arrrggghh!!  In the middle of working on the captions as we speak.  Soon, my friends, soon...
            ann peeples

            • Total Posts: 8317
            • Joined: 5/21/2006
            • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
            Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 1:41 PM (permalink)
            In a way Billyboy, it was fun to see the pictures without captions. It made me use my imagination-and I am looking forward to your captions to see how correct i am....but anyway, as always, great looking food adventure!!

              • Total Posts: 4467
              • Joined: 1/17/2006
              • Location: Pittston, PA
              Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 1:56 PM (permalink)
              Another nice report billyboy, I will check back for the text.
                Buffalo Tarheel

                • Total Posts: 492
                • Joined: 3/1/2008
                • Location: Royalton, NY
                Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 4:06 PM (permalink)

                Great report and a nice set of pictures.  They are making me hungry enough to make the two-hour drive down the Thruway or make a detour on the next trip to CT.  Thanks very much for posting this report.

                  • Total Posts: 6317
                  • Joined: 7/6/2006
                  • Location: Live at Saint Clair
                  • Roadfood Insider
                  Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 7:54 PM (permalink)
                  I thought I heard voices in my head......


                  your trip thus far is looking very yummy.  That lemon meringue pie at Hafners looks scrumptious.


                    • Total Posts: 3778
                    • Joined: 6/17/2004
                    • Location: Columbia, SC
                    Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 04/26/09 9:16 PM (permalink)
                    I can see up to the first half of the picture after the 'Red Sox' comment.  But up to that point, man oh man does that stuff look good.  You guys did a beautiful job with the pulled pork and sides too.

                      • Total Posts: 5546
                      • Joined: 8/4/2005
                      • Location: Crofton, MD
                      Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Mon, 04/27/09 10:02 AM (permalink)
                      you=nice trip.
                      me=home sick.

                      great write up. I do like Jake Hafner's. Although I grew up just a few miles from Jake's, and regularly went to Hafner's corners (intersection of Buckley and Taft roads),  I didn't discover the place until I was student teaching at North Syracuse Jr. High. A nice after work happy hour place. However, they remodeled between then and now, and the bar area is much larger than it was back then. So, they definately cater to the evening crowd. And while it's still a nice lunch spot for a sit down meal, the bar detracts a bit during dinner. But, their dinners are tasty, despite the bar noise that bleeds into the dining room.

                      Not far from Jake's is Hafners Red Barn, a delightful old fashion country store in a large red barn. At Christmastime, this is a must see.  The ice cream stand, next to Chuck Hafner's Farm Market and Garden Center (where my parents went for years and years for our garden needs including the annual Christmas tree and my mom's plethora of hanging plants), unfortunately, now gets their ice cream from VT, instead of local. They don't even have soft serve ice cream anymore, only custard, and that was one of the best soft serve stands in the area. It's a shame.

                      Still, Hafner's Corner, despite commercial  and residential growth that took away all of the farmer fields and strawberry patches of my childhood, still remains a staple spot in country goods and services for the Liverpool/North Syracuse area.


                        • Total Posts: 2
                        • Joined: 5/29/2009
                        • Location: syracuse, NY
                        Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Sun, 05/31/09 9:45 PM (permalink)
                        Thanks very much for this Billyboy it gave our staff a great lift...........Frank Pompo owner, Second North Deli.

                          • Total Posts: 193
                          • Joined: 8/14/2005
                          • Location: Hopewell Junction, NY
                          Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Tue, 06/2/09 11:32 PM (permalink)
                          I can't believe you were in Syracuse and bought Hood Chocolate Milk. Evryone knows the best is Byrne Dairy. Thankfully, I can get it here in Dutchess County at Wal-Mart. Still waiting for Hoffmanns to get down this way.

                            Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Thu, 06/4/09 9:26 AM (permalink)
                            Great reviews and pics, as usual! That burger you had looked fabulous (but I agree the other was way too raw for me!)

                              • Total Posts: 5546
                              • Joined: 8/4/2005
                              • Location: Crofton, MD
                              Re:A meat-filled weekend in Syracuse, NY! (with pics) Thu, 06/4/09 11:00 AM (permalink)

                              I can't believe you were in Syracuse and bought Hood Chocolate Milk. Evryone knows the best is Byrne Dairy. Thankfully, I can get it here in Dutchess County at Wal-Mart. Still waiting for Hoffmanns to get down this way.

                              absolutely! Byrne Dairy rocks!
                              Funny you mention that. In my "dissertation" on Haffner's Corner, there used to be a Byrne Dairy store mixed into the various Haffner's stores. Of course, it was mostly just a convenient store, but their 1/2 gallons were always cheaper there than in the grocery store.
                              I grew up on Byrne dairy chocolate milk. At Nate Perry Elementary on Buckley Road, a carton (1/2 pint) of white milk, as we called it in school, was 8 cents, chocolate was 9 cents. My parents would give me a dime for milk money each day. I'd save the pennies for a few weeks until til they added up to 15 cents so that I could get an ice cream novelty for dessert. Often, I'd drink white milk, just to get my ice cream money a little faster. You can imagine my dismay, when milk went up 1 cent in 4th grade.
                              Love Byrne Dairy Ice Cream, too. So creamy! And, despite all the downsizing, they still sell 1/2 gallons.
                              <message edited by Scorereader on Thu, 06/4/09 11:02 AM>
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